Most trout fishermen will be interested in understanding more about the quality of freshwater in New Zealand. However they might be a little unsettled to read a report recently released by the Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand.
A landmark national environmental report – Environment Aotearoa 2015 – reveals the overall state of our environment. While some environmental indicators are looking positive, the same can’t be said for the quality of the water in many of our rivers.
Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said the report gives a clear and independent overview, based on the best-quality information available.“Environment Aotearoa 2015 tells us the shape our environment is in – from the atmosphere above New Zealand to our oceans, and everything in between.”
Secretary for the Environment Vicky Robertson said the report provides a candid view showing where things are improving and where our environment is under pressure. An area showing clear improvement is carbon monoxide emissions from transport, which are declining. Overfishing in our seas and harmful airborne particles released from home heating are also declining.
The report finds deterioration for areas like coastal sea-level rise, concentrations of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, populations of some native plants and animals, and river water quality from intensive land use.
“New Zealanders’ past and present activities are putting pressures on our environment,” Ms Robertson said. “These pressures are growing as our population increases, our economy develops, and our lifestyles change.”
“The evidence in this report will help communities, central and local government, iwi, and business to make choices about how we manage our natural resources.”
The report uses robust data from hundreds of sources, and follows international best practice for environmental reporting. The report is supported by interactive web pages containing trend and regional data.
Environment Aotearoa 2015 was produced in the spirit of the Environmental Reporting Act passed on 24 September. Future reports will be part of a three-year cycle, in which individual aspects of the environment are assessed as well as an overview, such as Environment Aotearoa 2015. The next report focuses on fresh water and will be released next year.
See the key findings and background from the Government’s website.
Environment Aotearoa 2015 – report
Environment Aotearoa 2015 – infographic
Environmental indicators Te taiao Aotearoa – indicator webpages
(Quotes were taken from official gov media release)